News & Analysis

  1. netflix-problem-two

    Netflix takes its hypocrisy on net neutrality to the land down under

    Netflix is once again playing both sides of the net neutrality debate. Gigaom reports that the company has partnered with iiNet, an Internet service provider, to make sure its content doesn’t count against its customers’ broadband caps in Australia. The company is even bragging about striking the deal with iiNet — and while there’s no doubt this will be good for Netflix’s customers, it’s also somewhat hypocritical for what is widely regarded as one of net neutrality’s…
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  3. PayPal

    We’re still here: PayPal reasserts itself with new NFC payment terminal and splashy acquisition

    Apple Pay may have dominated the payments headlines in recent months, but PayPal is once again making its presence felt. And unsurprisingly, the bulk of the company’s latest moves appear aimed at regaining whatever turf it ceded, at least in public perception, to Tim Cook and company. Y Yesterday news leaked that the soon-to-be-independent PayPal will acquire Paydiant for a reported $280 million. Then, at today’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the company debuted a NFC…
  4. sad-smartphone

    Consumers return — or get rid of — functional electronics faster than ever

    People aren’t keeping their gadgets, appliances, and other gizmos as long as they used to. That’s according to researchers from the Öko-Institut in Germany, which was asked to examine the rate at which consumers replace their electronics products with new units. People replace consumer electronics for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s because a product stopped working; other times it’s because consumers want the newest version of that product. Both reasons are becoming increasingly prevalent. As the Guardian
  5. artiphon

    Pando prizewinner Artiphon takes its futuristic instrument to Kickstarter

    Crowdfunding platforms are chock-full of people exaggerating their own abilities or making their products seem like they can do things outside the realm of possibility. Artiphon’s attempt to raise funds for its “Instrument 1″ does neither of those things. I know this because I, along with several hundred other people, saw a prototype of the Instrument 1 used by a member of Moon Taxi during last year’s Southland festival in Nashville, hosted by Pando. (Insert boilerplate about this…
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  7. CHARLY-SHEEN-BUD-FOX-WALL-STREET

    Bitcoin derivatives leader Tera Exchange agrees to reverse merger as a path to a public listing

    Bitcoin’s derivatives leader is going public – but not in the way you’d expect. Tera Group has announced a planned merger with MGT Capital Investments, a NYSE MKT-listed online gaming company. The transaction is a reverse merger that will see Tera assume a 70 percent controlling stake in MGT and, as such, is intended solely as a going public event. As a result, Tera Exchange will become the first publicly listed bitcoin derivative trading platform. MGT’s shares were priced around $0.50…
  8. strictly-business

    Booker raises $35M Series C to bring service businesses online

    Booker, which helps service businesses better engage with customers online, has raised $35 million in a Series C round led by Medina Capital, with participation from strategic investor First Data, Jump Capital, and Signal Peak Ventures, as well as existing investors. The New York City company now sees 3 million appointments booked monthly across 73 countries in 11 languages on its platform. [via Booker]
  9. strictly-business

    Fab sells to PCH for reported $15M

    PCH, a company which “helps entrepreneurs turn ideas into brands and makes a variety of consumer tech products for major companies such as Apple,” has acquired Fab for a reported $15 million in cash and stock. Fab previously had a $1 billion valuation and raised $325 million. It will “continue to focus on design” at PCH. [Source: Bloomberg]
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  11. sxsw-650x366

    New SXSW GO app uses “audience matching” to help you meet other randos

    Music and tech festivals can feel so overwhelming that, despite all the great bands and mindblowing technological installations, it’s often barely worth the anxiety. In response to this cultural and content overload, every festival now has its own app to help make sense of the lineup. I used the Bonnaroo and Outside Lands apps last year which, for the most part, helped me keep my sanity while also getting to check out all the acts I’d planned on seeing. SXSW is no different —…
  12. obama-quora-qa

    Obama’s hypocritical stance on China’s plan to require backdoors in tech products

    President Obama wants China to know that the United States government is the only one that can ask Western tech companies to include backdoors in their consumer products. Obama told Reuters that China’s mandates “would essentially force all foreign companies, including U.S. companies, to turn over to the Chinese government mechanisms where they can snoop and keep track of all the users of those services.” That, obviously, would be bad. But the most telling part of the interview came…
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  14. strictly-business

    BlackBerry announces new smartphones

    BlackBerry has unveiled several new smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including the touchscreen-focused BlackBerry Leap and a device with a “dual curve slider,” in addition to its keyboard-equipped products. [Source: New York Times]
  15. Overheard

    “I hope to have a bigger presence in the tech world. I love coming up with different app ideas, and I have a few more that are coming out. Once you get started and you have this creative bug of ideas that you want to get out, I feel like I’ve partnered with the right team, and now I have the creative outlet to make that happen. I’m happy that people are into it and perceiving it well. I just want to create more apps.”

    — Kim Kardashian in conversation with Adweek

  16. house-of-cards

    Blank Frank: How House of Cards lost its magic — and how it can get it back

    No narrative has dominated the modern golden age of television like that of the “anti-hero.” Mirroring the golden age of film in the 60s and 70s, which brought us Clyde Barrow, Michael Corleone, and Kit Carruthers, the anti-hero saga introduces a charming but morally bankrupt lead who descends further and further into pure evil until whatever likable qualities that first endeared him to audiences — these characters are almost always men — are lost. Tony Soprano is an anti-hero. Walter White is an anti-hero.…
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  18. PandoLive

    PandoLIVE is LIVE now with the Kleiner Perkins trial, Tinder’s bet on creep, and more reports of Downtown Vegas’ demise

    Oh so many things to discuss this week, as our editorial team has been on fire of late. Dan Raile is spending all month at the Ellen Pao trial, filing his first dispatch today, meanwhile East Coast editor David Holmes has been on his own far less arduous research project– live blogging every episode of his epic binge watch of House of Cards. And of course we have Mark Ames’ bitingly incisive story on the death of Boris…
  19. fingerprint

    Qualcomm’s fingerprint scanner is the only thing most consumers will appreciate from MWC

    Most of the things revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona aren’t worth getting too excited about. For example, how many people are really going to be using any of the payment platforms introduced during the conference, or buying the expensive-but-“secure” devices, or paying even the slightest attention to talk about Google’s wireless network or Facebook’s drones? But there is at least one thing worth paying attention to: Qualcomm’s fingerprint scanner. The new scanner uses “ultrasonic sound technology”…
  20. pao-kleiner-perkins-trial

    One angry man: Dispatches from the Pao vs Kleiner courtroom, Pt I

    On Tuesday, Re/Code’s Kara Swisher was interviewing Hilary Clinton. On Wednesday, she was sitting behind in me in the gallery of a courtroom in San Francisco Superior Court, wearing dark sunglasses and eating some kind of takeout. The rest of us in the working tech press can only dream of reaching the level of importance that allows one to eat our lunch in court, in defiance of posted signs. By contrast, the co-editor of TechCrunch apparently has some way to…
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The Week in Review

Friday

female-voices-silicon-valley1 Fair warning: Pandoland is not that kind of conference Read all 13 recaps from our sleepless House of Cards marathon Courts deem CallFire a common carrier, setting a major precedent at intersection of telecom and tech law An average season ends on a high note: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 13, reviewed “An empire without heirs.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 12, reviewed Will Claire jump? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 11, reviewed Facebook now allows its users, not a drop-down menu, to define their genders How Frank got his groove back: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, reviewed Kim Dotcom’s Mega is dropped by PayPal over end-to-end encryption, may adopt Bitcoin instead Prepare for war? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 9, reviewed The War Nerd: Why did Mohammed Emwazi become Jihadi John? Has Frank become… boring? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 8, reviewed Twitter keeps Dick Costolo’s promise with new anti-harassment tools Will Frank lose his Lady Macbeth? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 7, reviewed “I should’ve never made you president.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 6, reviewed SF’s real income inequality issue isn’t hipsters priced out of homes — It’s the homeless What House of Cards gets wrong about Russia: Season 3, Episode 5, reviewed Another episode, another enemy: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4, reviewed Has Frank Underwood met his match? House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3, reviewed “You are entitled to nothing.” House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2, reviewed Meet President Underwood: House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1, reviewed